I began having problems with vertigo back in March of 2004. I woke up one morning and had no balance. I couldn't even walk without swaying forward, backward and from side to side. I was so sick to my stomach (eventually had vomiting...but only when I made a change in my position cause the dizziness intensified) and scared, so my hubby took me to the ER. They diagnosed vertigo and sent me home with Meclizine and told me that it will eventually go away. Well, I was off of work for a full week because I couldn't walk unassisted. After that, I got a ride to work for the following 2 weeks because it was still there, but was getting better. Well, needless to say........after about 4 weeks.......I got to the point where I could function without assistance of any kind, but I never FULLY recovered from this. When I flip my head upside down to put my towel on, when I stand back up, I'm dizzy for about 15 seconds. Also, if I tilt my head back to look up at something, same thing.
Well, a year later (March of 2005), same thing.......I woke up with the severity that I had the previous March. It was much shorter though. It only lasted about a week. But, still to this day........I have not ever fully recovered from the initial attack of vertigo.
I have been to a neurologist and had an MRI, CT scan, bloodwork and hearing tests........and all came back normal!!! What is left??? He told me to see a Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for more in depth testing (EEG???)on my inner ears. I have no symptoms with my ears (no ringing, buzzing, hearing loss). Wouldn't it be unusual for it to be related to my ears when I am not experiencing any noticable problems with my ears? I'm just at a loss here cause I know I am not crazy.......well, I'm getting to be crazy cause of all this. I just don't know what to do next. Any advice from anyone? Sorry this is so long.
Even though I am relatively new to this whole vestibular disorder condition, I wanted to let you know what my experience has been. I've found that as I've read through the postings on this health board, I have gleaned an enormous amount of helpful information just hearing other people's stories - information that has given me insight into what's going on in my case!!! (It's also really helped me be more informed as I deal with the drs., too!)
Though my experience has been a bit different than yours, it some ways it's similar. My main problem is the disequilibrium and dizziness that I have had since Jan. of this year, when I had a major vertigo episode. Like you, if I move too quickly, I get quite "spinny." After being treated unsuccessfully for BPPV, my ENT had the physical therapist switch to a vestibular rehabilitation program. If you do a bit of reading through these pages, you're going to see a pretty common thread - despite the originating cause of the vestibular problem, the treatment is pretty much the same for all who have the residual problems of an uncompensated brain - VRT. In fact, my ENT told me that is was very, very possible to not be able to come up with any conclusive diagnosis, despite all the testing (I have my consult next week for my MRI, ENG, VAT, posturography, etc.). He said that sometimes it's just impossible to know just exactly what has gone on - but to go ahead and start the VRT and get the brain acclimated to the change/damage that's obviously taken place, given the symptoms that still remain.
You'll also read about the pros and cons of symptom-reducing meds (like meclizine, valium, etc.). All the research I could find (and lots of expereinced veterans here on this health board) support the theory that it's better to not take anything while doing the VRT - those meds suppress the part of the brain that needs to be wide awake and ready to learn new skills.
This may all be old news to you, but just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents after reading your post. I do hope you are doing well - so glad to hear that you haven't spent too much time being totally incapacitated by this miserable condition!!! Hope you're able to have a great weekend!!!
Hi....it really sounds like BPPV....I've had it for over 39 years.
You might have a cold or virus that inflammed the inner ear and it caused the crystals (otoconia) to be free floating and get stuck on the cupula or within a canal of that ear. Or, maybe you were running or banged your head or exercising in a way that caused them to dislodge. Were you in an accident? whiplash? There are many reasons (some clear, others not at all) as to why it happens. My doc explained that some people just have them freefloating with no apparent reason. Some babies are even born with BPPV....imagine!
It comes and goes. But, there is treatment to help get the crystals dislodged or out of the canal. Sometimes the symptoms are completely eliminated from the treatment..sometimes there are residual symptoms. I have instant relief once the crystals are removed...others may not. It does depend on the primary condition and what damage or inflammation it may have caused in the inner ear. It's amazing that such a small area can cause such trauma to functioning (hearing, sight, walking, thinking, emotions..etc).
Mine started in the right ear with classic symptoms. Then both ears were affected at the same time....then only the left ear. The left ear acts much differently than the right. I've had one attack that lasted almost 3 years with only a few fleeting breaks inbetween. I would suspect the primary triggers were clearly different. Plus I'm older and the inner workings decline with age as well...hmm, something to look forward to
Check at the top of this board for information on BPPV. The resident specialist on a technical/clinical basis is Subs30 and will offer much advice and info.
I have other/longer experience at it and will tell you that I don't bother with doctors anymore since I have more experience at it than they do and have basically been told that there's not much more they can to other than what is being done. One offered me surgery ...I'm happy I passed on it because I'm back to "my" normal now. My first ENT doc of 15 years had it...sadly he retired, but he left me with a lifetime of information that has/will serve me well. We got to try the latest and newest of "what's out there" treatments -- some definitely better than others.
My one suggestion...when you get an attack, don't depend on the meds daily -- that's one thing that was stressed by him since I met him. If you have a bad day, fine. But it will hinder your recuperation (compensation) time. Try and function as normally as possible.
Once you get more information (from others' experiences on this board and clinical info) you will start to get a better understanding of BPPV and if it matches your symptoms. Keep in mind many have started with another disorder that precipitated the BPPV. Their symptoms and continuing symptoms might be different.
There also is a good book that you can order through the vestibular disorders association (VEDA) called "BPPV: What You Need to Know" by PJ Haybach. It really takes the fear out of the disorder and explains it in a very understandable way. It also discusses meds, exercises, surgery, functioning..etc.
Hope this helps.
It's all a matter of perspective!
Nothing like the voice of experience!!! Wow - that many years you've been dealing with this!!!! I'm sure Barton will have questions for you, but I was wondering if you might answer one that I have.
You mentioned that you have had BPPV for a long time. Can you tell me how your doctor(s) came up with the difinitive diagnosis? From what I have read in these brief 6 months of dealing with this, I was under the understanding that the hallmark of BPPV was brief vertigo spells, just moments long. Has that been your experience? If so, what are the symptoms that you continue to deal with after the initial spin? My PT wondered if I might have started out with BPPV, then moved from there into some other vestibular problem... Your insights are so appreciated!!!
Robin in CA
I'll try to answer your question as best I can. I had this since 1966 at age 11. I had seen various doctors about it (because it always came back -- classic of BPPV), one suggested I have my tonsils out (1970) because that's the year I had tonsilitis as well as my dizzies. Never came to fruition tho.
In 1975, I had lung surgery for a collapsed lung and was hospitalised for over a month. Before the surgery, I was dizzy from being bedridden for such a long time probably. It was then that my surgeon sent me to an ENT setting up a clinic in the hospital. I got in...and since I was symptomatic, it was very easy to diagnose me. Once I got better, I went through a serious of tests. I was also able to get in to see him anytime I was symptomatic. Since he was in a teaching hospital, the observations were quite vocal -- so I got lots of info. It also helped that my doctor had BPPV himself.
The brief vertigo spells that come on a few seconds after the head is in an offending position and if held there will only last briefly...meaning no more than a minute. If the head is put back into the offending position many times and the vertigo allowed to start and stop...each time it will be less and less. That's called fatiguing, again which is classic with BPPV.
I'm not clear on the right terminology on this but I call the whole period of time when I'm symptomatic an attack. This could last from a week to a few months. This is meaning from my first spin to no more spins with any head movements. I'm not symptomatic with vertigo unless my head is tilted in an offending position (could be a whole range be them obvious or very small)...but I did have light headedness and some nausea during some of the time but not always.
Anxiety was always high during the initial time -- more frustration with each time because it always seemed to come during my periods??? although not with each one. Summer was always a time it showed up...maybe because of increased allergies or fluid levels or a cold or whatever.
Oh, must say that sometimes I had a year or even two without any symptoms...or sometimes I had a suggestion feeling, but nothing came of it.
The first day was literally non-functioning...and I was usually able to get into my doctors to have some sort of treatment given for me to either do myself or the doc to do the semont maneuver -- which each time dislodged the offending crystals. I did, however have to sleep sitting up for 3 nights and then only onthe left side for a week. After doing this three times during attacks, I told the doc to forget it.....I'd rather function with the dizziness than feel like crap for 2 weeks. He had no problem with it since I was a "lifer" with BPPV.
Now, the left ear...that was a different thing altogether. My symptoms probably started from a virus or cold or something like that. The symptoms were continual and it was like I was walking on a swinging bridge. I also had longer periods of vertigo...for me suspecting it was more in the horizontal canal than the posterior. My symptoms were like I was stoned the entire time...but I was working full-time. During the holidays during the summer, I was pretty much only functioning when I wanted or needed to....depression set in quickly. I was also symtptomatic in both ears for a short period of time.
I did see another doctor because mine retired and she was good to get me straightened out for a short period....but because the symptoms were worse, that's when she noted both ears were affected. She sent me to another specialist..waited MONTHS, and he said...classic BPPV because the vertigo was precipitated by position. Clear cut.
Yeah, right....he did answer all my questions regarding the ear/brain connection and that mine was more severe. Wouldn't you know it that when he set me up for testing...that was the only day I had absolutely NO symptoms. I was soooo ticked. So, nothing showed.
I did have an MRI to rule out MS or other brain disorder. So, the only option for me was to see this doctor when I was symptomatic. His only option for me was surgery because at that time I was almost 100% symptomatic for a year +. So, the time came soon enough when I was so symptomatic...walking, bouncy vision..everything. I was elated that he would see me at my worst. But, When I called, the henchwomen at the desk wouldn't let me in to see him -- not for at least 2 weeks....so, that's when I decided to deal with it myself.
My GP treated me for a severe sinus infection and after that, my symptoms lessened then completely disappeared. A few months they reappeared, yes, another infection. I was treated, the symptoms disappeared and it's only showed up (vertigo) when I've been sick with a cold...and only slightly.
I do have foggy head feelings when the air pressure is very low. I get some visual dizzies -- split second-- when tracking something moving..but only on occasion. If I oversleep, I can feel sluggish, and if my vision and balance is affected, sometimes doing an Epley will help.
I do take a small dosage of Sudafed daily to help with my sinus symptoms )had them alllll my life).
I also have had neck problems.....which started with a severe fall which caused whiplash when I was 11....that's what I think started the BPPV (as well, I banged my head a few time during that year from slipping on ice).
I can tell neck dizzies and lightheadedness and BPPV symptoms fairly clearly. One thing I don't do is baby myself with head positions.
And...sometimes I have felt a dizzy coming on (you know what feeling I'm talking about) the left side when I'm in bed...and I immediately flip over to the right. Most of the time I've never ended up symptomatic.
Wow, I can go on and on...I'm never concise, but I've lived with this soooo long and with other bodily disorders and physical changes that it's all so interconnected. I try to deal with each symptom as it comes up....and if it helps, then it helps.
I know it won't ever fully go away. But, if it's any consolation, I've not had right sided symptoms for about 3 years..which is a good thing.
I hope this answers your question OK...if you want to ask anything, please do, for I don't know what I can share until you ask.
I'll try to find a past post I did explaining about the different types or intensities of BPPV....I'll add it to this thread. That might help explain what you're experiencing. Don't forget that all doctors don't agree on anything...as well, what's out there in the internet is the most hit on sites with regurgitated information.
That doesn't mean there aren't variants or differences of experiences. Mine was the most severe..but my doc said..BPPV. He's also an author of a vertigo book, so I trust his diagnosis.
It's all a matter of perspective!
Hi again...found this. It's possible your symptoms are just BPPV, depending on what type/canal..etc.
quincy quoted......"This perspective is based on BPPV as a singular vestibular disorder, not accompanied by another vestibular disorder (at the same time).
I would like to add that most of the info out there and what most patients suffer from is posterior canal BPPV. There are as well anterior and horizontal canals in the ears and the symptoms vary as well as the treatments (positioning).
BPPV can be in one or both ears....and if in both, not necessarily in the same canals. It happened to me.
The otoliths can be connected to the cupula(s), or moving through the canal. This means treatment for one might not work for the other.
The patterns can be self-limiting (days, weeks or months); remitting/recurring (off and on for long periods of time (months, years); persistent (continuous).
The intensity of attacks can be mild (no symptoms between episodes of vertigo); moderate (vertigo upon specific head movements plus symptoms such as dizziness/lightheadedness, etc between episodes); extreme (vertigo produced with most/any head movements with constant nausea).
Some docs believe the above, others do not. It's unfortunate that if in fact some patients fall within the above criteria and the doctor doesn't follow that school of thought.
I would think that the testing for positions be appropriate to the possible canals affected. I believe that if the canals are affected, the symptoms are somewhat different compared to if the cupula is affected. I also believe that for some of us (as also believed by my first doc) that some of us have these free floating crystals that are not set on staying settled. I believe that when these are kind of floating about when we don't have vertigo, that symptoms such as feeling fuzzyheaded, drunk, "off"...etc.
I've had symptoms where I could almost SWEAR I was getting primed for another attack. But, nothing happens...whew! I'm totally amazed.
I personally don't think it's black and white....but the doctors and internet information seems to follow the trend of the most popular and it's constantly regurgitated. It's only to the detriment of the patients who are struggling to exist through the frustrations and mind-boggling reality that "no one seems to know" and are left in perpetual limbo.
We who have BPPV learn to "live with it"....because we have no other choice. Plus, the reality is that one can have it forever. But, there are treatments to help limit/stop the attacks. The home treatments are definitely a big step in the right direction. There's nothing to lose by trying the different maneuvers if one is in constant misery. I've made myself worse on occasion...but I've also made myself better.
They're learning more and more about BPPV....I wonder what the perspectives will be in 5 years. I've seen and experienced many changes in philosophies and treatments in the 38+ years so far! There's definitely hope! Hang in there!"
Hope you have a feeling better day/weekend.
It's all a matter of perspective!
I appreciate your detailed information - what an incredibly long experience you have had with this stuff!!! In the midst of all the treatment for the BPPV, did you ever get referred to VRT, and if so, did it help? If you have had symptoms that have lingered and don't seem to subside (I guess because it's an on-going problem for you, right?), do you take any symptomatic medication? (I have thought that if I am not able to get some sort of life back after my VRT, then I will take whatever meds necessary to be able to really live again! But maybe that's not necessary - knowing what other people have experienced is so helpful, even though it may not be the same scenario.)
I can't remember if you mentioned this in your post, but do you do any positioning procedures at home on a regular basis? I have seen some contradictory thoughts on this on the web - some drs. saying they would rather not have their patients even try to mess with it, others saying it's a good thing for patients to know. As you said, there is ALL kinds of info and advice out there!!!
Again, thanks for taking the time to share your journey with BPPV (so sorry it's been SO long ), and thank you, as well, for pulling up your previous post! It was so helpful.
Hi....I'm never concise...you might be sorry you asked!! haha....sorry. Again, I'll try to answer your questions..but in the event that I didn't ask again. Explaining it all isn't something I had to do to my doc...and maybe my normal isn't the same as someone else's since I've literally grown up with it.
No, I've never been prescribed VRT..probably because I was functioning fine without it. I was prescribed exercises to do when I was having an attack and symptomatic until something new came along and we tried). Remember I wasn't symptomatic all the time...just during attacks (from first vertigo till no more..and that varied in time spans as well).
I don't do any home positioning maneuvers on a regular basis unless I'm feeling off and it is affecting my balance. I do the modified Epley a few times in a row..and that's about it. I don't baby my head movements...I apply my hair products with my head upside down then flip up.....I dry my hair to one side and quickly to another..no symptoms from that...so, maybe in effect I am doing positioning, just not "formally". As well, I do it all the positions when I'm in attack..just slower.
As far as doctors saying they don't want their patients "messing" with positions.....that's more ego I think. I had a great doctor for a loooong time, and was able to see him at anytime. I got relief, even if it was from his casual attitude and reassurance -- that goes a long way emotionally. That's how I function with all my disorders. Once he was gone and I was referred to the other specialist when my other ear became affected (and different more continual symptoms happened)..different philosophy...I didn't get relief, although I got lots of answers. Because I got ticked with having to wait, I did seek relief through my own movements from experience I already had as well as from the two books I have. I had absolutely nothing to lose. Some things made me worse...some better, I experimented. Other times, I just didn't function until I felt stronger to try something else. I took one day at a time. The problem with that duration of time was that I did feel great on some days and other days not...so, that in effect gave me more hope although more depression on the days I had more severe symptoms. As well, the BPPV books gave me answers and that settled my thoughts.
Medications...hmmm. I was NEVER prescribed any meds after I was diagnosed. Before that I'm sure I was on antivert or something like that...as well as Niacin. That was a blast...but I don't think it really helped since I was symptomatic for months while taking it. But, I was also functioning normally...just a bit "out of it" and had vertigo with head and body positions..but I knew it would eventually go away. It was a hindrance and a major tick-off ...but not a lost cause because I already had that experience countless times.
I've been taking Sudafed daily at low dosages (one 30mg) for a few years.... just to keep the eustachian tubes and sinus less reactive. I only took a half Gravol a few times during that attack when nausea hit when I was extremely symptomatic. Never on a daily basis though, because it makes my body feel weird afterward.
I do think ANY eye exercises would be a definite plus!!! I haven't done them on a continual basis.
Another thing I'm going to get is a wobble board. I think that would help with body/brain connections which can be hindered by vestibular disorders.
What are your symptoms at this time?
Are you having vertigo when you move your head a certain way or when laying down?
What are the exercises you're doing through VRT?
I'm not saying I can help..but can offer some kind of suggestions based on what I might know.
You do, however, have to trust yourself in this and know that it does take time in healing.
It's all a matter of perspective!
I have never had any head injuries of any sort. I don't know where this came from. I also don't have ANY problems whatsoever with my ears. No ringing, hearing loss, pain or anything at all. Also, during an attack my vertigo lasts for about 5-10 minutes before the dizziness stops. During that time, especially with the first attack, vomiting soon follows. But, on a normal day, the vertigo only lasts about 10 seconds or so if I drastically change positions (flipping my head upside down to put on a towel or putting my head up to look above me). During the first attack, I was prescribed Meclizine to control the vertigo, but it didn't help. Then I was given Valium, and that helped, but I didn't want to have to rely on any drug to get me through the day, so after a few days, I kicked the drugs completely and just dealt with it. I did baby my head during that time, otherwise the vomiting would have been occurring and I didn't want to deal with that. I would have rather been on meds. Even to this day, I try to avoid certain things, such as dying my hair. I used to dye my hair every couple of months, but I haven't done it since because I know that if I kept my head in the same position for that long (while rinsing dye and conditioning), I wouldn't tolerate it too well.
So, is an ENT my best bet??? Are ear problems always associated with BPPV???
Thanks again, Quincy - I am amazed that you have been able to keep your sanity through all of this!! I guess what doesn't kill us makes us stronger!!!
I just got back from the ENT consult - I was looking forward to getting all the results of all the tests. MRI, all audiological testing, posturography, etc. were normal, but the caloric testing showed weakness in the right ear. He said the most conclusive he can be is a diagnosis of vestibulopathy. Now there's a BIG catch-all phrase!! But that's OK - obviously, something happened in there given the symptoms, and from everything I've read, his statement of VRT being my ticket out of this is correct. Both he and my PT tell me to plan on a full year for recovery.
My symptoms as of late are disequilibrium mostly, but if I move too quickly (not just my head, but my whole body) I spin and can get nauseated. I've already had a number of vestibular overloads - one just this past weekend, when I thought I'd play ping-pong with one of my sons. (I'd read somewhere that it's an excellent form of VRT, with all that eye movement, hand-eye co-ordination, etc.) Well, after 4 very competitive games, I thought I'd never stop spinning. I was completely wiped out for 2 days! What they say is true in my case - the VRT must start gently - overload just shuts me down completely!
When I'm having a bad day, there's just no escaping it in any position - it's almost like it's "screaming" in my head! So putting my head back to shampoo or bending over to dry my hair doesn't necessarily make things worse - it's just always there.
Because my VRT has only been going on for 2 1/2 weeks, I am just beginning with simple balance exercises (balance on one leg, then the other for as long as you can, eyes opened, then eyes closed), as well as the VOR exercises.
As I think I may have said, they think this might have started out as BPPV with further complications, but, who knows. PT continues to do the Epley on me just in case (without results), and he wants to do at least one set of B-D each day, in addition to the VRT.
Barton, I hope this finds you feeling a bit better, and knowing a little more clearly what direction you need to be moving in. Please forgive me if I am about to ask you questions that you already addressed... But who have you seen so far in this journey? (GP? FP?) Did they give you a preliminary diagnosis? After reading a lot of the posts here, I realized that my ENT might not be the one to hold all of the answers for me. You read about a lot of people who go from their ENT to a neuro-otoligist - a dr. that specializes in the nerve issues of the ear, I'm guessing! I guess that will be my next step, if I seem to stall in my progress.
Best wishes - hope the week is off to a great start for you both!
I went right to a neurologist for this because I didn't want to mess around with my family doctor only to have him send me to a specialist anyway. So, I started with the neurologist. He ordered an MRI with contrast and a hearing test, as well as blood work. Not exactly sure what he checked for with my blood, but all tests came back normal. So, he told me that the problem does not lie within my brain and he advised me to see an ENT to have further testing on my ears done, such as an EEG. I just wanted to get some insight as to whether an ENT should be my next step or if there is some other doctor I should see.
In my humble (and relatively new-at-this) opinion, I would recommend going to the ENT, if only to get the rest of the testing started. Did the neuro mention BPPV or any other possible causes of your symptoms, or was he/she mainly ruling out any possible central causes? I've come to the conclusion (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that if they've ruled out MS, brain tumor, acoustic neuroma (as an MRI would rule out), then you are left with your symptoms all pointing to a vestibular problem, whether your ENG and caloric tests come back showing anything or not. And the treatment? Yep, you guessed it - VRT!!!! (Did the neuro mention VRT?) If I were you, I'd progress to the ENT. (You never know - you may end up with a great and helpful one! And besides, if you spend time on this board and research the web, you'll go into that appointment well prepared in terms of what to ask and what to expect.)
Hope you can get underway soon!!
Best wishes - Robin
Just wanted to say it is hit and miss whether you see an ENT who knows much about the inner ear - they are required to do no further specialised training in this field, their specialitues are the middle and out ear, nose and throat. The docs who specialise in dizziness are called neurotologists (different from a neurologist.) Many people on this board have seen one, including myself - the 2 ENT's I saw failed to diagnose me and were completely hopeless. If you put my username in search on this board and 'Which Specialist to See' in the topic box, it will bring up a post about all the different ear specialities.
Occasionally people get lucky with an ENT - my experience means I always advise people to try a neurotologist if they can - that way you will be more certain of getting answers,
I have just been reading through these posts and I hope the visit to the ENT brings you some sort of useful diagnosis. I would hazard a guess that you do have BPPV and the good news is there is stuff you can do about it. The ENT may do the Epeley on you in his/her office which would be great, you may notice immediate results. If he/she gives you directions to stay still and not to lay flat for a couple of days, follow them, they could be your ticket out of this mess. If you are diagnosed with BPPV but you aren't given any treatment, I would begin to do the Modified Epeley Manoeuver yourself at home, (see the sticky post at the beginning of this post for information on how to do it yourself). This manoeuver saved my life!!! or at least my sanity! Some drs may not think you should do anything yourself, but I have read that it can't do any more harm, even if you do it incorrectly, so really you have nothing to lose.
Good luck with it all, and with any luck this will be a positional vertigo thing that means you may be on your way out of this mess sooner rather than later!
Hi Barton....it's definitely hard to say that continuing vertigo for 5 - 10 minutes would be BPPV...I've never had that experience, nor can I even imagine having vertigo for that long of a span. I have had longer vertigo spells when I was having a left sided attack (I'm suspecting in another canal other than posterior)..but I tried different head movements to get it to stop.
No wonder you'd feel nauseated and throw up!!
But, it could still be BPPV, and the crystal(s) stuck on/in a specific area and not moving at all with head movements. It could be in another canal or even both ears....Since it is with head movements, it would be a more likely diagnosis firstly...then if it doesn't fit or continues, then maybe you have two things going on at the same time.
All vestibular disorders are not associated with BPPV....but many vestibular disorders can set BPPV in motion -- nothing like adding fuel to an already burning fire! As well, other symptoms can mimic or be the same as BPPV -- not meaning the vertigo initiation, but continuing symptoms.
I guess from what I've read that an ENT might not be the best bet for initial diagnosis....my doc was an ENT and the ENT department..but classified as an Otolaryngologist. Others from what I've read here suggest being sent to a Neurotologist. I would think either would be best bets. There are definitely some ENTs that specialise in vestibular disorders...others wouldn't have a clue I would assume. That's where the research on your part comes in. Get referred to a specialist of vestibular disorders firstly just so that you don't have to wait unnecessarily for other appointments -- since they can take forever to come around anyway..so you may as well cut to the chase so to say.
I personally don't think it would be in your best interests to always stay away from dyeing your hair -- meaning keeping your life limited,, you might have an alternative......maybe the hairstylist can wash your hair with you leaning in the sink instead of you being backwards. You'll know what to expect..just be a bit more guarded when you do so.
I can see how the valium will help....maybe save it for days you're having trouble functioning.
I agree that you might just want to try the Modified Epley at home and see if you get any improvement. You will firstly have to identify the affected side.
Please keep us posted as to how you're doing (appointments, symptoms, etc).
Best to you,
It's all a matter of perspective!